I recently sent out my first column of the year for one of the campus papers here. This particular iteration is one that I wrote mostly because I get irritated by the way religion gets thrown around in presidential campaigns, and more significantly, that many get upset when candidates such as Perry and Bachmann demonstrate more than superficial religious faith.
We want to know that the President goes to the 11:00 service on Sunday, drops a couple of bucks into the collection plate, sings Great is Thy Faithfulness, and knows a few choice verses about how “the greatest of these is love,” and “blessed are the meek.” Voters expect what amounts to a watered-down Victorian Anglicanism in which our religion is public, but our faith is private.
Am I alone in thinking that a substantial body of the voting public really doesn't want candidates to have firm religious beliefs? Certainly the Religious Right cares, but the discomfort people have with the fact that some GOP candidates actually take their faith seriously bothers me. If you want your president to got to church, then fine. Don't be surprised when you find out he believes in things. You can't be a Christian on Sunday, but a secularist when you show up for work in the Oval Office, as so many seem to think. What? You mean Michele Bachmann's faith has guided her in making key life decisions? All I can say is that I wish I could say the same.